OLEAN, N.Y. (WIVB) - The Olean General Hospital announced Thursday that a careful internal review of hospital insulin pen use raised the possibility that their re-use may have occurred with some patients from November 2009 to January 16, 2013.
A release from the hospital says, "The hospital has not identified a single patient who ever received an insulin injection from another patient's insulin pen. Hospital officials also emphasized there is no documentation at this time of the transmission of any blood borne infections during the stay of any patient who received insulin from the pens during this period."
Individuals, who received insulin from an insulin pen at the Olean hospital during that time period from 2009 to 2013, are recommended to be tested for hepatitis B, hepatitis C, and HIV.
President and CEO Timothy Finan said, "We learned that some nurses say this may have happened, as definitive as that. It saddens us and concerns us greatly that we've potentially imposed this anxiety on 1,900 individuals."
This is not the first time insulin pens have possibly been re-used in WNY recently. More than 700 Veterans could have potentially been exposed to several deadly viruses including Hepatitis B, C, and H.I.V between October 19th and November 1st at the Buffalo VA Hospital. It turns out Olean General Hospital saw that story and reviewed their own procedures.
In the VA case, a federal review has been initiated. Congressman Brian Higgins expects the review by the Inspector General to be swift and says "we will take those recommendations and aggressively pursue their implementation."
A letter was sent to 1,915 patients that were hospitalized at Olean General Hospital since November 2009 who received insulin pen injections recommending they get tested.
Patients receiving letters are asked to call 716-375-7590 or 1-888-980-1220 to set up an appointment for testing or to speak with a nurse at the call center for any questions they may have. Staff is on hand from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Sunday.
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